Incredible India

A visit to a jungle

Want to spot a tiger? Think no further, head to one of India's successful wildlife parks at Bandipur or Nagarahole which is about a 5 hour drive from Bengaluru. In a setting straight out of Kipling's Jungle Book, on a wildlife safari you can (if you are lucky) spot the mighty beast. Karnataka has 20% of India's big cats. Apart from Tigers, you can see the elephant, panther, Indian leopard, bison among a host of animals.

Hampi - a tale in stone...

Time and Distance from Bangalore: 6 hours 41 minutes (340.6 km) via NH 50 and NH 48

Hampi, declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its group of monuments, is an ancient village located along the Tungabadra river in the east-central Karnataka, India. Hampi is also ranked first on Asia’s top emerging travel destinations for 2019 and second on the list of must-see places by New York times in 2019.

History of Hampi dates back to the first settlement in 1st CE. Rock scriptures found in the different parts of India suggest that th city was a part of the Ashokan Kingdom during 3rd CE. It became the centre of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire capital in the 14th century. Chronicles left by Persian and European travellers, particularly the Portuguese state that Hampi was a prosperous, wealthy and grand city, with numerous temples, farms and trading markets. By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world's second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing, and probably India's richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal. The Vijayanagara Empire was defeated by a coalition of Mughal emperors in 1565. Hampi as its capital was conquered, pillaged and destroyed, after which the city remained in ruins.

Located in Karnataka near the modern-era city of Hosapete, Hampi's ruins are spread over 4,100 hectares (16 sq mi). As an "austere, grandiose site" of more than 1,600 surviving remains includes "forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, temples, shrines, pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, water structures and others".

Some of the recommended places to watch are the 7th century Virupaksha Temple, Vithla temple 16th century stone chariot, Dasara Dibba (platform) 12 m ht., Zenan enclosure, Royal enclosure, Elephant stables, Monolithic Bull, Matanga Hill and Hemakuta Hill.

Links to information about travel and tours to Hampi:

Beautiful Coorg...

Kodagu, also known as Coorg, is a rural district in the southwest state of Karnataka, along the Western Ghats. A serene hilly region that is covered by the lush green forests and plantations of coffee, cardamom, and pepper, among other spices and produces. One of the best ways to get to Coorg is to travel by bus. There are around 8 comfortable buses that ply from Bangalore to Coorg on a daily basis. Boarding points from Bangalore include the Kengeri Satellite Bus Stand, Majestic Bus stand, and the Shantinagar Bus Stand. The entire journey from Bangalore to Coorg via bus takes about 6-7 hours. Buses usually connect to the major towns-Madikeri, Somwarpet, Virajpet, and Kushalnagar.

Another method of travel is by car. Since Coorg is only a 6-hour drive away from Bangalore many people opt to drive down to visit in and around Bangalore to enjoy the place at their own leisure. The journey usually takes 5-6 hours based on traffic conditions.Ironically, rail and air are the least convenient modes of travel. Coorg, also known as "The Scotland of India" has numerous sightseeing spots. The most popular ones being:

Abbey Falls - A water cascade coming down from the cliff from a height of 70 feet provides a spectacular scene to behold. The walk takes you through exotic coffee, cardamom, pepper, and other spice plantations.

Dubare Elephant camp - The Dubare Elephant camp offers a unique adventure to visitors by allowing them the experience of living in coexistence with the trained elephants on-site. Visitors to the site can experience the incredible biodiversity of Coorg and have the opportunity of viewing birds such as peacocks, partridges, kingfishers, and woodpeckers.

The Golden Temple - Namdroling Monastery or the Golden Temple, situated at a distance of 34 km from Coorg, is the largest teaching center of the school of Tibetan Buddhism known as Nyingmapa. It is spread over an area of 80 square feet and was built from Bamboo.

Raja's Seat - Raja's Seat, a garden with beautiful flowering plants and skilfully designed artificial fountains, is located in Madikeri in the district of Coorg.

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